I play the bass in a band. We are playing Ray LaMontagne's "A Falling Through." The chords for the intro and verses are C/G and F, but our guitarist prefers playing C Cmaj7 Am and F. The problem is that the A sounds out of place in that progression on the bass. Any ideas on how to resolve this? I have tried two options that sound OK: (1) Ignoring the Am and simply playing an C and F, or (2) replacing the A with its 5th (F#). Better ideas from more experienced bassists out there? Thanks.
First you should decide if you don't want to stick to the original. The intro is pretty dominated by this bass melody:
X: 1 M: C K: Cmaj L: 1/8 V:C name="Bass" clef=bass-8 c,,3 g,, b,,c,b,,c, | f,,3 f,, b,,c,b,,c, | c,,3 g,, b,,c,b,,c, | f,,3 a,, b,,c,d,c, :|
That would still fit pretty well over
C - Cmaj7 | am - F – the
am would actually be
am/F which is equivalent to
Fmaj7 and the
F would rather be something like
b7♭5, which may look weird but is actually not unreasonable harmonically (the latter fulfilling a bit of a dominant role).
Playing an A or even F♯ is certainly also possible, but both would lead to a sound that's significantly different from the original's “cotton wool country” feeling, A pointing more towards folk/rock and F♯ more toward jazz. Only you and the band can decide whether that's what you want.